Special Announcements Page
Zoom and Eventbrite Registration Links (due late September) for
How to Hold a Meeting for Clearness for Activists:
Spiritual discernment for beyond COP 26
Glasgow Quaker Meeting House - 3 half-day in-house with Zoom blended trainings
by Vérène Nicolas & Alastair McIntosh - in both English & French options
This is shared page for these events, it will be finalised when some French translation and booking links with Eventbrite and Zoom are added towards the end of September. The two Anglophone half-days - each of them separate stand-alone events - will be at the Glasgow Quaker Meeting House, which is just one mile away from where COP 26 will be taking place. These will be both in-person for about two dozen people and, probably for most participants, blended on Zoom. The Francophone half-day will take place in at the French Quaker centre at Congenies and it is possible that other French Quaker groups may also do something in-house connected up to us via Zoom. We, Vérène and Alastair, will be leading the French event from our home in Glasgow, a mile away from where COP 26 will be happening.
Here's what We're offering - 2 English half days and 1 French half day
Many processes used by activists and others who organise for social and environmental change have been influenced by the Quaker spiritual tradition. What these have in common, is that they revolve around shared discernment. That is, deep being and seeing into life's problems and vexing issues, conducted in community with others. Meetings for Clearness are an approach by which a person who is faced with a challenging life question focuses on it with the help of others’ discernment, using a process of asking open questions. It is an especially powerful method for those who as Quaker parlance puts it, are "working under concern" in their lives. People who are engaged in demanding issues, such as climate change, and we use the term "activist" very widely, to mean anyone who is passionately active in the world. It may include scientists, policy makers, community workers, and just ordinary concerned people, as well as those who seek to raise consciousness by protest on the streets.
Each of these workshops will take place in 3 parts. First, Vérène and Alastair will introduce the psychology and spirituality of discernment methodology. Second, participants will then divide up into small groups (including using Zoom breakout rooms) to carry out a short clearness meeting, with one person in each group volunteering to be the focus person with a question to discern. Third, in a closing plenary, and without breaking confidences from the groups, we will share about the process and its usefulness. We will look at its usefulness as an aid to deepening the meaning, direction and effectiveness of our activism, not least around climate change.
The Quaker tradition has some 350 years experience of discernment and seeking clearness. But these workshops (and the Quaker way generally) are open to people of any or no faith. They are for anybody who might want to deepen their spiritual journey and activist calling - irrespective of whether that calling might overtly be on the streets or more quietly working for change within established structures.
Vérène Nicolas specialises in helping individuals and organisations build capacity to mobilise towards vision. Nonviolence and collaborative leadership are key parts of her work. She is a member of Glasgow Quaker Meeting and has experience with Quaker-inspired methodologies to create spaces that are hospitable to the soul. Originally from France, she has lived in Scotland since 1997.
Alastair McIntosh is a member of Glasgow Quaker Meeting. He is a campaigner on land and social justice issues. His books include Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power (Aurum 2001), Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service (2016, with Matt Carmichael), and Riders on the Storm: the Climate Crisis and the Survival of Being (Birlinn 2020).
Zoom registration will be required, and Eventbrite ticketing will be used for the in-person options, Covid permitting. These workshops are free, but we would welcome any donations to the Glasgow Quaker Meeting House, especially so to help with COP 26 expenses. Details of how you can donate if you wish and are able to will be given in your registration confirmation.
Numbers for the in-house options in Glasgow will be limited to around 24 people under current Covid restrictions. We may run a dual ticketing system, with half the in-person tickets for participants from the Global South, and half for the Global North. There will be plenty of Zoom capacity, but if you book and later change your mind, please cancel, so we know for breakout group numbers.
Also, at the request of Glasgow Quaker Meeting, Alastair is giving a talk on the eve of the opening of the COP: The Spiritual Imperative of COP 26: a Vision for the Future, Sunday 31 October 2021 at 1900. Booking for this - both live and Zoom blended - will appear on this page and in Alastair's web itinerary where his other speaking events can also be found. We hope to have all bookings links up on this page and in his itinerary by the end of September. As he is very stretched with the volume of COP 26 activity, please try to avoid emailing etc.. However, as co-host facilitators will be needed for the Zoom breakout groups,if you have some experience with Meetings for Clearness or suitable facilitation, please contact mail@AlastairMcIntosh.com.